Online Services: LinkedIn

So clearly finding time to post long-form is not so easy. I was up early this morning with my GSD (German Shepherd Dog) and now that she is recovering from the workout, I have some nice quiet time to give some thought to how I use LinkedIn and what benefits can be gained from it.

LinkedIn is pure and simple business. To begin, fill out the profile as completely as possible and consider it your online resume. I try to only connect with people I know. Some of these I know well, others I’ve met, had a meeting with, and was intrigued enough by what they do/offered that I added them so I could later reach out to them while keeping up with what they are thinking (via updates).

Join relevant groups. There are a ton of them out there. Search them, look at number of people, see if any connections are members, and join. People share content, ask questions, and when seeking vendors it could be a good way to find one.

I connect my Twitter feed to my LinkedIn account so my Tweets all channel through LinkedIn. As such most of my Tweets are business based. I also connected this WordPress account to LinkedIn, again my posts are relevant to my field.

Pay attention to ‘People You May Know’ box in the upper right corner or that appears after connecting with someone. LinkedIn does a very good job of finding people that have a probable history with one another.

Questions. I’m still torn on this one. I’ve added several LinedIn question topics plus news feed to my Google Reader so I can follow what is happening without having to constantly log-in. The news feed is something I scan through and try to reach out if someone has a new title or job.

I also try to answer questions that I have some knowledge of. I’m torn in this area because, as I’ve posted previously, some of these questions are really bad. By bad, I understand that some are written in a 2nd language making it harder to get the full meaning/intent across, but others are fundamental questions about an area the person asking claims to be an expert, so I wonder what the true motive is.

At any rate, I’ll continue on this path for a while and see where it takes me.

The best part of LinkedIn is staying in touch with business contacts. As they move from job to job you don’t have to update contact information, they do it for you. Working in the Pharma/Biotech/Medical Device space, I’ve found it is a reasonably small world and many people I worked with during my non-profit days I’ve come across in my new position. It is great to be able to go back and find people whose work and work ethic I admired then and put an RFP in front of them now. Without LinkedIn, it would be much harder to do this.

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